9:52am, Tuesday 21 September 2004
Joshua: "Daddy, what's this?"
Me: "It's a Rubik's cube. Sort of a puzzle."
Joshua: twizzle twist twizzle "Can you put it back again?"
For future reference (i.e. the next time I forget) this is more-or-less the method I learned about ten years ago for solving the cube. I was impressed to find I could remember steps 2, 3 and 4 without too much difficulty. Step 1 completely eluded me, so I had to look it up on the web.
The moves are given in a (relatively) memorable way, by virtue of being pronounceable. The faces are denoted "f" (front), "t" (top), "r" (right) and "l" (left). "o" and "a" mean turn 90° clockwise and anticlockwise, respectively. "i" means a 180° turn. "m" means to turn the middle "slice" rather than the face. (This all sounds hideously complicated. It's much easier to demonstrate than describe!)
- 1. Position the corner pieces.
- lotara tolata roti swaps the two corners at front-top-right and back-top-right. It rotates other corners but it doesn't move them. (Actually, this isn't the original method I learned; that only manipulated faces f/t/r, but I can't find a reference to that now.)
- 2. Orientate the corner pieces.
- 3x ratifa rotates the three corners at the back of the top face by one "step" clockwise. 3x fotiro does the equivalent anticlockwise turn.
- 3. Position the edge pieces.
- to rom ti ram to moves the top-left, top-right and front-bottom edges one position clockwise along their cycle. ta rom ti ram ta is the anticlockwise equivalent.
- 4. Orientate the edge pieces.
- 4x ro tom flips the three back edges around the "waist" of the cube, and the bottom-right edge.